from the line
down the stretch
IOLA — Hitting 10-of-10 free throws from the foul line in the last 2:36 of the contest, the Neosho County Community College women’s basketball held off Allen County Community College 80-75 in Iola Wednesday night.
The victory over the rival snapped a 10-game losing streak and was the first Kansas Jayhawk Community College Conference East win this season for the Panthers.
Trailing 55-46 with 10:40 left in the ballgame, Allen tied the contest at the 2:38 mark. That’s when the Panther free throw clinic began.
First it was St. Paul freshman Camri Burke hitting 4-of-4 on two consecutive possessions to give Neosho a 70-66 lead with 2:10 to play.
After Allen cut the lead back to one possession at 74-71 with a Daria Evans three with 25.2 remaining, freshman Olivia Uhrich knocked down two foul shots.
Answering again, Allen (1-8 KJCCC East, 5-21 overall) cut the Neosho lead back to three points with 12.1 seconds left.
Sophomore Denise Levine put the game away on two straight possessions hitting 4-of-4 free throws to win the contest. Neosho finished 19-of-20 from the line for the game.
“We’ve been in these games before — Labette and Allen,” Panther Head Coach JJ Davis said. “It helped us tonight. We finally made some free throws. We finally stayed strong and did the right things.”
Neosho jumped out to a an early lead, taking a 19-12 point lead with 10 minutes left in the first half. Allen battled back to trail 27-24, but Neosho pushed to a 36-26 lead at the half.
“We moved the basketball well,” Davis said. “We got out in transition well. We shot the basketball well.”
A lot of Allen’s second half surge came from behind the three-point line. The Red Devils shot 43.5 percent from three for the game. Neosho shot 53.8 percent.
“First half they didn’t shoot the basketball very well and we knew they were going to shoot it sooner or later,” Davis said. “We finally held on. It was a struggle but we held on and finally got it.”
Hitting 6-of-6 from the foul line, Levine led Neosho with 18 points. Uhrich scored 16, hitting 2-of-3 from three and 4-of-4 from the line. Autumn Lipscomb shot 6-of-8 from the field for 14 points.
Allen’s Evans led all scorers with 22 points, hitting 3-of-3 from three. Emily Azubell scored 17 points. Haley Wilson finsihed with 11 points, four assists.
Neosho (1-9, 10-16) traveled to Rhema Bible College in Broken Arrow, Okla., Thursday and hosts Coffeyville (9-1, 19-8) Wednesday.
Neosho 36 44 - 80
Allen 26 49 - 75
Neosho: Denise Levine 18, Camri Burke 8, Madigan Gonzales 5, Jordan Braun 4, Cherish Barry 2, Olivia Uhrich 16, Autumn Lipscomb 14, Allyson Mitchell 5, Hailey Mayfield 4, Michaela Hinton 2, Makayla Bell 2.
Allen: Daria Evans 22, Ashley Washington 8, Erika Essman 6, Josie Reilly 5, Ashley Sally 3, Emily Azubell 17, Haley Wilson 11, Daniela Azubell 3.